More about it from the Post:
The link between vaccinations and autism was alleged in a small 1998 study that has since been widely discredited in the scientific community. The journal that published the study retracted it in 2010, and its author lost his medical license.
But many doctors had cast doubt on the study even before those actions, insisting that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine was safe and effective at combating once-deadly but now preventable diseases.
Here’s where we stand as of the end of January:
The latest measles outbreak has infected more than 100 people across 14 states, according to Anne Schuchat, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Fifty-eight of those cases, according to the California Department of Public Health, are traceable to an outbreak at Disneyland and another theme park in Southern California that began in late December and now has spread to six other states, including Utah, Washington, Oregon and Colorado.
My thoughts if parents don’t want to have their kids vaccinated that’s fine. But schools should then have the right to say your child cannot attend school.
But the debate gets even better with potential Republican presidential candidates weighing in on the matter too.
This from Governor Christie:
Earlier Monday, Christie waded into the vaccination debate during his visit to the United Kingdom, telling reporters in Cambridge that he believes U.S. government must “balance” public health interests with parental choice. In a break with President Obama, Christie said parents should have “some measure of choice” about immunizing their children from measles and other viruses and diseases.
“Mary Pat and I have had our children vaccinated and we think that it’s an important part of being sure we protect their health and the public health,” Christie told reporters here Monday. But the likely Republican presidential candidate added: “I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well, so that’s the balance that the government has to decide.”
From Senator Paul:
Then, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), an ophthalmologist who is also readying a 2016 campaign, said in two U.S. television interviews that he thinks most vaccines should be voluntary, citing “many tragic cases of walking, talking, normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines.”
And this Carly Fiorina:
Former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina, who is considering a long-shot 2016 run, also appeared to endorse parental choice for vaccines in a BuzzFeed interview last week.
“I think vaccinating for measles makes a lot of sense. But that’s me. I do think parents have to make those choices. I mean, I got measles as a kid. We used to all get measles,” she said. “I got chicken pox, I got measles, I got mumps.”
Gee where to start with this.
Christie at least back off his comments. His office saying this:
“The Governor believes vaccines are an important public health protection and with a disease like measles there is no question kids should be vaccinated,”
I’ll give him partial credit on this at least. But he’s still pandering to people who are paranoid about what the government make people do. Also wasn't he the guy that wanted the nurse who'd been exposed to Ebola but who showed no signs to self quarantine herself.
For Senator Paul my response would be please show me those tragic cases. This reminds me of Michele Bachmann’s comments when she was running for president.
As for Ms Fiorina comments. Yes, just about everyone got measles when growing up. But the thing is some kids died from measles as well as chicken pox or mumps. Vaccines eliminate that possibility.
Thankfully there was push back on this. More from the Post:
Seth Mnookin, a professor at MIT who has written a book on the vaccination debate called “The Panic Virus,” called the comments from Christie and Paul “incredibly, incredibly irresponsible.”
Such remarks, he said, “basically fail at the first duty of a politician, which is to calm his constituents in moments of irrational crisis.”
The criticism came too from some political strategists, who wondered whether Christie in particular might have been attempting to appeal to Republicans suspicious of government mandates.
“There’s only one of two options,” said Rick Wilson, a Republican operative from Florida. “Either he’s so tone-deaf that he doesn’t understand why saying this is bad for him, or this is a considered political strategy. And that would be even more troubling.”
I like the response about all of this from Hillary Clinton. She tweeted:
The science is clear: The earth is round, the sky is blue, and #vaccineswork. Let’s protect all our kids.
The Post had an editorial on this:
In the case of measles, proven science is well in hand. The vaccine has a half-century record of safety and effectiveness. The study linking it to autism has been discredited and retracted. Mr. Paul’s reporting of anecdotes that he has “heard” is particularly insidious. Measles was eliminated in the United States by 2000 with widespread use of the vaccine. No presidential candidate should endorse parental “choice” that could reopen the door to an ugly and preventable disease.
One thing I find interesting is all of the politicians supporting the anti-vaccine movement seem to be Republicans.
Am I shocked at this not in the least. It seems they are becoming the Know Nothing Party. One wonders what other scientific facts will be questioned. Perhaps whether the earth is really round. Is there really gravity. Or is bleeding someone a good idea to release the vapors from the body which can cause ill health. Or maybe we can debate whether women have souls.
You have to wonder what century the Republicans want to pull this country back to.